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Old 04-20-2020, 11:53 AM   #1
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hello

Hello. I just registered here. I am seriously considering purchasing a boat to live on. Problem is, i know nothing about boats. I used to go out on the lake (I am from Michigan) in power boats with my grandfather to fish, but have never owned a boat.



I am thinking this might be away to allow me to have a place to kick around when not outside the states...provided i ever get to leave the states again (all borders are closed due to pandemic, of course).


I am trying to get a handle on just how bad an idea it is to buy a 34 foot Tollycraft. Why so specific? I fell in love with one, in part because I can stand up straight in the cabin (I am 6 feet 4 inches). I also like the two staterooms; I need space to put an easel and art supplies.


Is this an insane idea? Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-20-2020, 12:03 PM   #2
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I think there is a thread floating around with a tall person asking for recommendations of trawlers that can handle taller people. I am 5' 10" so I don't pay attention to any of those kinds of threads. You might want to start a thread like that yourself, kind of a "Tall Guy Looking For Trawler."

The difficulty, or maybe not, will be to find a marina that will take you living on your boat full time. You might even start your search there as the old saying goes - "location, location, location.

Lots of people live on boats but familiarize yourself with issues you could encounter and will need to be aware of/solve. Issues like condensation, storage (some boats have more storage than other models), even location at the marina (you don't want to be in row "Z" - think groceries).

Try to talk to full timers to see what works and doesn't work for them. Ask them how much they take the boat out, most will probably say - not much.
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Old 04-20-2020, 12:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for responding. Is it difficult to find a marina that allows for full time use? This is the kind of thing I need to be aware of...
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Old 04-20-2020, 12:45 PM   #4
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Suggest you start with the basics.
Marine Survey 101, pre-survey inspection
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Old 04-20-2020, 12:59 PM   #5
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Welcome aboard. Tollys are a good boat. I would look at as many boats as possible, difficult to do now, and as you go make a list of things that you feel are must haves, nice to haves and things you don’t like. There is a publication called Powerboat Guide that has hundreds of boats in it with line drawings and specs with a brief review of the boat. It is about $75 but it may save you a lot of driving if you don’t like the layout. Take a boating class or several. Good luck and have fun in the search.
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Old 04-20-2020, 01:04 PM   #6
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Is it difficult to find a marina that allows for full time use?

I can't speak for your area but I can tell you marinas allowing full time live aboards can be difficult to find. The issue is 1) do they allow it? The other issue 2) if they allow it, are they full?

I know in the Pacific Northwest, and coastal British Columbia it can be a very big issue. And I've heard of others here in the forums discussing difficulty of getting into a marine, much less living aboard in some areas on the East Coast.
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Old 04-20-2020, 02:28 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your responses.



Curiously, none of you have ridiculed me for considering such a thing with my woefully limited knowledge with respect to taking care of a boat...


The thing is, I need something I can live in, and I am not sure I want to buy another house in the States. I have considered an RV... but that is just too restrictive in terms of space. Is this a good idea for someone not well schooled in the way of living aboard, as it were?
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Old 04-20-2020, 02:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novice View Post
Thank you all for your responses.

Curiously, none of you have ridiculed me for considering such a thing with my woefully limited knowledge with respect to taking care of a boat...

The thing is, I need something I can live in, and I am not sure I want to buy another house in the States. I have considered an RV... but that is just too restrictive in terms of space. Is this a good idea for someone not well schooled in the way of living aboard, as it were?
Just a logic check...
You didn't mention where you intend keeping the boat. I'm pretty sure Michigan isn't going to work?
I have both a 34 ft boat and motorhome and would say they are similar re space - except the MH, IMO, has more usable space and more storage space. Our MH has slides that greatly expand the usable area when parked - no such feature on boats. So if you have any experience with an RV and don't feel it is suitable, I'd seriously reconsider the 34 ft boat as a full time live aboard.

We (couple) travel for 2-3 mos at a time and have no space issues on either boat or MH but don't think we could make either our full time home - but that's just us.
I don't mean to throw cold water on your dreams - really - just suggesting a real honest assessment of your planned life style and use of the boat, list your needs, wants, don't wants and then tour as many as possible to honestly assess if it could work for you.
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Old 04-20-2020, 02:53 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. IF you're considering living aboard ANY boat in Michigan in the winter, you will probably be iced in with no running water or toilet facilities for at least 4 months of the year. An RV is a lot easier and faster to move, if you want to relocate.


Boat buying should or rather MUST be a NON emotional experience, for the most part.
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Old 04-20-2020, 02:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
Just a logic check...
You didn't mention where you intend keeping the boat. I'm pretty sure Michigan isn't going to work?
I have both a 34 ft boat and motorhome and would say they are similar re space - except the MH, IMO, has more usable space and more storage space. Our MH has slides that greatly expand the usable area when parked - no such feature on boats. So if you have any experience with an RV and don't feel it is suitable, I'd seriously reconsider the 34 ft boat as a full time live aboard.

We (couple) travel for 2-3 mos at a time and have no space issues on either boat or MH but don't think we could make either our full time home - but that's just us.
I don't mean to throw cold water on your dreams - really - just suggesting a real honest assessment of your planned life style and use of the boat, list your needs, wants, don't wants and then tour as many as possible to honestly assess if it could work for you.



Please... throw cold water on my dreams! I am a U.S. citizen, but would prefer to spend at least half of my time (per year) elsewhere. That being said, a boat would allow me, in extreme circumstances, to got to Panama, Costa Rica, and other places if my neighbors play rap or country music too loud too much of the time. It would mean that property taxes are a non issue, and that I would be able to come and go as I please.


For my purposes, a Roadtrek Popular would do fine, but it restricts my ability to leave the U.S. to venturing to Canada (which will kick me out after 6 months) or Latin America (which not even I am stupid enough to drive thru ( I will not cross the Darien Gap unescorted))...


Hope this makes sense...
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Old 04-21-2020, 07:23 AM   #11
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I think I'm getting a little clearer picture but wonder if you have thought it through very well or just dreaming.
In the earlier posts you mentioned that RV was...
"Too restrictive in terms of space" but then replied that... "For my purposes, a Roadtrek Popular would do fine, but it restricts my ability to leave the U.S."
Could you really live full time in a RoadTrek? Honestly!
If so maybe a 34 Boat would suffice.
I'll let others that are more familiar with cruising to Panama / S America to comment on suitability of a 34 fter. I know people have rowed across the Atlantic but realistically is it doable full time?
I would think your plans could be possible in a larger vessel but not in a 34... at least as an an inexperienced boater. I would think differently if you had international cruising on more typical vessels and now wanted to down size.
I'll defer to others that have some actual experience doing what you are planning.
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:18 AM   #12
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Come on everyone, cut Novice a break. He lives in Michigan, the boating capital of the world. He knows all about weather and winter, no need to point out these things to him. To people in Wisconsin and Michigan "Live Aboard" means June, July and August.

Michigan probably has more marinas than any state in the Union. Almost all small marinas allow the summer live aboard status. Just find a small "homey" one on a river in a small town on the West Coast of Michigan.

Now a note to "Novice"..What has taken you so long to come to this decision?

Standard Advice:

Go For It !!

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Old 04-21-2020, 12:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
I think I'm getting a little clearer picture but wonder if you have thought it through very well or just dreaming.
In the earlier posts you mentioned that RV was...
"Too restrictive in terms of space" but then replied that... "For my purposes, a Roadtrek Popular would do fine, but it restricts my ability to leave the U.S."
Could you really live full time in a RoadTrek? Honestly!
If so maybe a 34 Boat would suffice.
I'll let others that are more familiar with cruising to Panama / S America to comment on suitability of a 34 fter. I know people have rowed across the Atlantic but realistically is it doable full time?
I would think your plans could be possible in a larger vessel but not in a 34... at least as an an inexperienced boater. I would think differently if you had international cruising on more typical vessels and now wanted to down size.
I'll defer to others that have some actual experience doing what you are planning.



The Roadtrek could still be used as an everyday driver, once an actual house is purchased (did not mention I am looking...carefully...for actual real estate), either here or elsewhere. The boat...well...I have heard, more than once, that the best days in the life of a boat owner are the day the boat is bought, and the day it is sold.
That being said, the Tolly that piqued my interest literally (actually literally, not figuratively) took more than 10 years to sell.


I think I could sell a Roadtrek more easily, but I could also use it to travel to art fairs and such, peddling my wares.



Basically, I am looking for an inexpensive way to live part time in the U.S. (6 months or less) during the summer. The boat just seems so much more... peaceful...an idea.



Thanks to those who have responded.
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:55 AM   #14
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Come on everyone, cut Novice a break. He lives in Michigan, the boating capital of the world. He knows all about weather and winter, no need to point out these things to him. To people in Wisconsin and Michigan "Live Aboard" means June, July and August.

Michigan probably has more marinas than any state in the Union. Almost all small marinas allow the summer live aboard status. Just find a small "homey" one on a river in a small town on the West Coast of Michigan.

Now a note to "Novice"..What has taken you so long to come to this decision?

Standard Advice:

Go For It !!

pete

Sorry it took so long to answer...


What took me so long is this: At long last I must admit I like to move around. A lot. Especially outside the U.S. (which is not as possible as it used to be these days, but that is another matter). I have identified several places where I can live much cheaper, in environments without many guns, than I can in the States. I cannot un- know what I have now know. At this point, I am too old and too poor to petition other countries for residency. And I am not quite old enough to receive social security benefits.



That being said, it takes a long, long time for some to realize that the people who have been telling me how my life should go... are not living my life, and therefore have opinions that are irrelevant unless solicited.


Interesting question. Hope I answered it.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:12 PM   #15
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Novice,
If you haven't already discovered from your research on Trawler Forum, be careful of falling into the trap of buying a very "cheap" and seemingly affordable boat. A 30 year-old boat, for example, for $50k will most likely need another $30-50k investment to get it in safe, usable condition again. And the annual operating expenses, even if you don't go anywhere, can be staggering (insurance, marina costs, etc). I suspect RV's could be a bit cheaper, but cannot comment with certainty on this, as I've never owned an RV. Given that you indicated you like to move around a lot, having a boat will limit your travel flexibility, unless you are willing to pay $$$ for others (marina, services, etc.) to take care of it for you when you are not there. If I were you and wanted maximum location flexibility with minimum of encumbrance, I would take a close look at Air BnB monthly lease options. We know a couple from Palm Springs that lease an (astoundingly large and beautiful) apartment in Buenos Aires this way for a few months of the each year to escape the summer heat in Palm Springs. I think the apartment was only something like $1000/month.


Good luck on your search and decisions!
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